(Replayed from October 2011)
Recently a guest came for a four day stay at Spirit Fire. He was gentle, kind, joyous, and helpful. I hope he comes back. He’s from another culture: from a country where water is precious, often hard to come by, and never wasted. Some days he “smelled” though he washed or showered regularly. He was quite comfortable with himself and everyone else. We enjoyed him immensely.
His body odor made me wonder about cultural norms, and why we*, as a nation, are squeaky clean on the outside yet corruption, abuse, misuse, and foulness are part of our cultural norm. Why are he and his countrymen healthy and Americans are so diseased? He has all his possessions in a sack and is happy, and we with closets, garages, barns, and storage pods of stuff are often unhappy or disquieted. He seems to abide in contentment even though his nation is dispossessed. Why is our nation so discontented as evidenced in verbal and physical violence, alcoholism, drug use, depression, anxiety, and fear?
I reflected on what I’ve been told by friends who have traveled to India, Central America, or Africa where water is precious, possessions few, where people depend upon one another and on the natural goodness of the human spirit. In these places there is no anti-bacterial hand soap also no colds. There is one clean pot used for all meals; no leftovers, no fridge, no food thrown in the kitchen trash, no kitchen. There might not be a pillow or a bed, yet people’s backs are straight and don’t hurt from sleeping. I found myself pondering so many things. His visit was a blessing.
How about you, do you ponder such things? If you have traveled, what have you observed? I’m not thinking of “don’t drink the water” or “don’t eat anything raw” type of statements But instead, what have you witnessed? Give me and us all something to ponder. Write a comment.
* of the USA